A wild crosswind did nothing to help the players at The New Lawn on Saturday as Hayes & Yeading once again lost out to a side struggling with us at the bottom of the table, the only goal coming after a clumsy tackle just seconds into the second half saw the home side awarded a penalty that Yan Klukowski converted.
United started the game well and seemed to adapt to the conditions much quicker than the hosts. First to try his luck was Jefferson Louis in the 8th minute when Tom Cadmore found Bradley Pritchard who helped the ball on to United's lone striker but his shot on the turn was too high to trouble James Bittner in the Rovers goal.
On 15 minutes and with both sides struggling
with the wind it was a long ball from the back that Louis knocked down to the lively Andy Yiadom who picked out Adam Green, who was playing in an unfamiliar midfield slot, but his shot also sailed over Bittner's goal.
United did have the ball in the net in the 28th minute when Jamie Hand took a very quick free-kick which played in Pritchard on the left, his cross-shot being turned in by a defender however the offside flag had already been raised from the initial free-kick.
As the half came to it's conclusion the home side finally troubled Lee Harrison in the United goal as veteran striker Steve Guinan moved past Cadmore but Harrison was quickly off his line to smother at his feet. Almost immediately Louis forced Bittner into his first real save of the half when he collected a Cadmore cross, held off the challenge of Luke Jones, and hit a shot that was blocked wide by Bittner's legs.
In stoppage time Green had to be alert in his own area too as Kieron Forbes played in Reece Styche but his path to goal was well blocked by the United man.
Having seen more than their fair share of possession in the first half it was a shock in the second when United gifted the home side a penalty after just 18 seconds, Forbes making his way into the area only to be tripped by Charlie Wassmer's outstretched leg. Klukowski stepped up and sent Harrison the wrong way from 12 yards to give his side an undeserved lead.
Rovers could have doubled their advantage just before the hour mark when Forbes broke out of defence on the left before picking out Klukowski who was denied by a diving block from Harrison and the ball was played clear.
Chances continued to come and go for United with the home side sitting back and relying on breakaways. Garry Haylock threw a second striker into the game just after the hour as Ben Wright somewhat surprisingly replaced United's most creative player in Yiadom.
Almost immediately United went as close as they had all afternoon when Lee Brown and Green combined on the left to feed skipper Peter Holmes, his 25 yard drive going a matter of inches over the Rovers goal.
By the 78th minute Nathan Webb had replaced Green and it was his throw-in to Wright that saw the striker find Pritchard but his shot with his weaker left foot rolled to Bittner in the home goal.
United continued to push for the equaliser, Wright hammered a free-kick past the wall from 25 yards that Bittner did very well to catch under his crossbar and the best chance came five minutes from time when Wright sent Webb into the box on the right, his low cross-shot missing all in the middle before going agonisingly wide of the far post.
Deep into stoppage time United again failed to capitalize from a really good position as Louis blazed over from 15 yards after receiving Pritchard's knock down of Brown's cross, and the game was lost.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Andy Yiadom.